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Real-time Maine coronavirus updates: 720 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Monday, May 4, 2020

MAINE, USA — KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

LATEST CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

MONDAY, MAY 4

4:30 p.m.

2 p.m.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah provides the daily coronavirus update. 

Of the new 20 confirmed cases, none are associated with the current outbreaks. 

The 1,205 confirmed cases break down: 1,136 confirmed cases (cumulative) and 69 probable cases. There are 428 current total cases of COVID-19.

Credit: NCM

Dr. Shah says the Maine CDC reached a milestone today. Since the coronavirus reached Maine, they have no fielded 6,000 consultations for COVID-19.

FEMA is pushing out 14-day supplies of PPE to each of the 93 licensed long-term care facilities across the state. They will be efforting those shipments in two phases.

Dr. Shah addressed the notion of antibody testing, which is a way to look for the presence, or absence, of proteins our bodies produce to fight infections. Antibody testing is not a way to look for an active infection, Dr. Shah explained. Rather, it's like looking at footprints on a beach, Dr. Shah said. Perhaps someone walked by, but you're not sure when or who or whether they are coming back or not. 

Dr. Shah said there's still a lot of questions surrounding antibody testing. He says there's a lot of research going on about antibody testing and how good or reliable certain tests actually are. Dr. Shah said as the science behind antibody testing evolves, he will do his best to keep everyone updated on that front. 

Dr. Shah says the Maine CDC is still investigating the death of a Waldo County firefighter, whose death is believed to be COVID-19 related. Dr. Shah made clear that when the Maine CDC reports deaths, they are reporting that someone has died who had been confirmed positive with COVID-19, not the cause of death specifically. The cause of death determination is left to the medical examiner. 

As of a few days ago, there were roughly 2,900 people tested each week. This includes people tested through the state lab in Augusta, as well as large commercial testing companies like LabCorp. Dr. Shah said right now, the positivity rate is over 5%, meaning for every 100 people tested, about 5 or 6 are positive. Compared to other states, whose positivity rates are 10 or 15%, Maine is doing better, Dr. Shah says. He says he'd like to see Maine's positivity rate around 2%, which is what South Korea's is. To do that, Dr. Shah says testing must increase two or three-fold. 

12 p.m.

Credit: NCM

The Maine CDC announced on its website there are now 1,205 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. 

Of those 1,205 cases, 720 Mainers have recovered and 57 have died.

186 Mainers who have tested positive have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. Currently, there are 37 COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized in Maine, 18 of whom are in intensive care, and 11 of whom are on ventilators.

Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the Maine CDC, is scheduled to provide an update at 2 p.m. NEWS CENTER Maine will stream it live on-air, as well as on our website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and mobile app.

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MAINE CDC BRIEFINGS

Coronavirus, COVID-19 Background 

The official name for the coronavirus is “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes is named “coronavirus disease 2019” or “COVID-19” for short. Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which can infect people and animals. The viruses can cause the common cold or more serious diseases like SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.

The CDC says symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and in some cases sore throat.

The CDC says there are simple steps to take to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home while you're sick and avoid close contact with others

The Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Tuesday, March 10 that they would be holding daily coronavirus briefings with director Dr. Nirav Shah to keep the public up to date on the situation in Maine. 

NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube Coronavirus Playlist